Friday, November 23, 2012

Hiking in OK

If we kept our eyes on the ground, it felt like we were in southern Utah, hiking its red rock. Although it's considerably smaller than UT and WA hiking, it was a really nice getaway and a good reminder how beautiful this earth is that we are so blessed to live on!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

4 Steps to Avoid the Deep Depression

It's not uncommon for me to feel like i have no purpose every once in a while.  Although I know exactly what incredible purposes I do have, the feeling of floating through this life and not accomplishing anything worthwhile occasionally creeps it's way into my mind and fills my whole self before I can stop it.

And now I want to write about it.

It seems useless, almost weird, to write about something that's not true but only felt.  It's true that I feel it, but the feeling that leads to a belief is false in and of itself.

But this almost completely defines my experience with depression.

When I am depressed I believe things that aren't true.

I believe that I have no beliefs.  That my beliefs I profess to have aren't strong enough to be real, and are even ridiculous.

What's saddest is what I believe about my worth.  Because I don't believe I'm worth much, I believe I don't deserve much.  I definitely don't deserve to be happy and I definitely don't deserve the husband and daughter I have.

Years of counseling and psychiatric sessions have taught me some very important tools to stopping the affects of these lies that I sometimes believe.

1. The first step is to recognize the negative/false thoughts/beliefs I am experiencing.

I may think, "I'm such an idiot" or it may be more serious, like, "I am worthless."   Most often it's, "I'm fat, ugly, don't deserve my handsome and hard-working husband and I'm scared for my daughter to grow up and see how messed up I really am."

Now, don't worry, I'm not telling myself this very often.  But, even one time a month (or one time a year!)  is enough to take precaution.

2. The second step is to reverse the negativity and lies with positivity and truths.

This is my favorite part because, contrary to what you may think, it's not as healthy to feed myself a slew of compliments as it is to face the facts.  These facts are what save me because they're real and what I need most in these moments is to come back to reality.

Lets go over some of the facts I can remind myself in these bad times:

It's not the end of the world.

Everything is going to be OK.

I'm not perfect and I'm not supposed to be, in fact, nobody is perfect!

God made me and loves me.

God has a plan for me to be happy and wants me to follow that plan.  He's even sent and sacrificed His own Son so that I can change and improve to be like Him someday.

I can do better tomorrow.

These are just a few.

2.5 Another part of the second step is getting to the root of my worry/sadness.  Lets say I am sad because I feel fat, maybe I ate too much at dinner. (For those of you who have never felt intense depression, it can be something as little as overeating for one meal that sets you off to a deep depression, but I'm talking about how to stop it before that fast downward spiral begins). So, I ate too much at dinner and I feel fat... So, what?  I'm worried of how I look for my husband because he might think I'm fat... So, what if he thinks you're fat?  Then he won't love me as much... So, what?  Then I'll be alone... So, what?  I don't want to be alone, I won't even love myself.

Maybe THAT'S my problem, then.  Instead of the big deal being that I overate, what really bothers me is how I feel about myself and my actions.

3. The next step is admitting the facts, in this case it's that I'm unhappy with how I'm treating my body by over-eating.

4. And then, finally, I can make a goal on how to avoid the action that led to the bad thoughts and feelings.  Maybe next time I'll put less on my plate, or I'll follow the rule of putting my fork down between every bite allowing my body the time to send my mind the message that it's done.

In the end, I'm left with a few things:  I know I made a mistake but that the mistake is small and can be corrected.  I have a goal for how to avoid the same little mistake.  I also know that the negative beliefs I experienced about myself were untrue, unnecessary and unhelpful.

Now, with patience with myself and practice, I can conquer the depression before it's deep.

That was just one little example of how seriously sad I and many people I love can get sad so quickly.

My last step in conquering these bad feelings is writing about.

Thanks for reading and I really hope this helps someone else :).